Voters will elect three candidates from each of six districts for the DuPage County Board.
Incumbents Paul Fichtner and Don Puchalski have strong track records and are endorsed. Fichtner has distinguished himself as chairman of the finance committee in scrutinizing spending, while Puchalski is an enthusiastic supporter of the county's effort to consolidate governments. For the third seat, we like newcomer Sam Tornatore, an attorney and Bloomingdale Township trustee. We cannot endorse the third incumbent, Rita Gonzalez, who declined to participate in the Daily Herald endorsement process. The other candidates are Michael Castillo and Maria DeAngelis-Vescey.
Elizabeth Chaplin, Peter DiCianni and Elaine Zannis are recommended. Chaplin, whose grass-roots work to bring to light the tainted well water in her area led to two terms on the DuPage Water Commission, where she served with diligence. DiCianni, a business owner and Elmhurst mayor, has worked on regional issues and knows the players in DuPage County, so if elected he can move seamlessly into his new role. He has pledged to give up his mayor's job if elected to the county board. Zannis is an Oak Brook trustee with enough real world experience to be an effective board member. Sean Noonan, a Bloomingdale police officer, is the fourth candidate in the race.
Brian Krajewski and John Curran, two board members seeking re-election, are hardworking board members, dedicated to ending duplicative services. Krajewski is the former mayor of Downers Grove and Curran, of Woodridge, is an assistant state's attorney in Cook County. Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso is a solutions-based leader but because of his intent to be mayor and county board member simultaneously, he is ineligible for the Daily Herald's endorsement. In our opinion, Sharon Bryant, a teacher and manager from Bolingbrook, does not have the experience needed to serve. Krajewski and Curran are recommended; we do not endorse for the final seat.
Incumbents Grant Eckhoff and JR McBride are conscientious board members who deserve another term. Eckhoff has been a good steward of the taxpayers' money and does his homework. McBride helped forge the agreement that resulted in the county assuming control of building and zoning issues for College of DuPage after the school ended a nasty dispute with Glen Ellyn. For the third post, we give the nod to newcomer Amy Grant of Wheaton over candidates Dan Bailey and Charles Ditchman.
Incumbents Tony Michelassi, James Healy, John Zediker and newcomer Tonia Khouri are seeking the three seats. We support Healy, Zediker and Khouri. Healy's command of the issues is impressive, while Zediker has worked hard on county transparency issues and ethics reform, Khouri, a local business owner, provides the perspective of both a woman and someone growing a small business during tough economic times. We cannot endorse Michelassi for re-election due to his poor attendance record at board meetings and committee meetings where most of the board's work is conducted.
Incumbents Dirk Enger, Robert Larsen and James Zay are our choices. Enger hit the ground running in his first term; he's knowledgeable on the issues and gets involved in a way that goes well past meeting attendance. Larsen spearheaded the effort to close the youth home and combine its services with those of Kane County. Zay brings business experience and is experienced in making tough and possibly unpopular decisions, a background which will continue to be needed. Other candidates are Dave Barry, Lauren Nowak and Kevin Wiley.